A collection of musically themed musings by Brendan Bush in Burlington, VT

Favorites of 2010 are on the way

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Tuesday December 14, 2010

I’ve been spending my musical energy the past week or so on whittling down the (very long) list of my favorite songs from this year. I’m still working on it, so things might be a little slow on here until I’m done, but I just came across a video of one of my favorite artists from this year – Angus & Julia Stone – and I wanted to share it. It’s from a show this past summer at Café de la Danse in Paris.


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Too good not to share… Stars – “Wasted Daylight”

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday December 8, 2010

As to the aforementioned wonder of Amy Millan’s voice… here is a very good idea of what I’m talking about. From LiveBuzz.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Advertisers love indie rock

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday December 1, 2010

Earlier this year, I posted on the growing trend of car companies using indie rock songs in their TV ads.

As a tool to expose good music to more people, I think the use of this music is great. I just wonder if it pays off for the bands (beyond the obvious financial payoff for the rights to the song). Do people really follow up and figure out who that awesome band was on the TV? I hope so, but just in case you are someone who doesn’t, here’s just a sampling of the wonderful bands you likely listen to every day without knowing it:

Langhorne Slim
Worries
From Langhorne Slim

The Black Keys
Tighten Up
From Brothers

The Morning Benders
Excuses
From Big Echo

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Where do you buy music online?

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Thursday October 14, 2010

I wrote last month about the end of Amie Street — whose dynamic pricing model provided extremely affordable music, especially for those of us who tend to buy music every Tuesday. To make matters much, much worse, emusic.com announced recently that they are changing their pricing model next month, effectively halving the amount of new music I’ll be buying each month.

So I’m hoping that while I haven’t been paying attention, some amazing new (or underused) service has emerged. I think I’d go back to buying physical CDs before I’d buy another iTunes album, and Amazon.com is often as expensive (though they do run some great sales).

How do you get your music (legal remedies only)?


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.



The demise of Amie Street

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Wednesday September 8, 2010

Well that just sucks. I got an email a few minutes ago from Amie Street, where I buy a good portion of my weekly music intake, saying as of September 22, the site will be shuttered, redirecting all links to Amazon. Amie Street was an incredible concept for many reasons, and the loss of the service definitely means I’ll be buying less music.

The first cool thing about Amie Street was that albums started off really cheap (like under $2.00 cheap), and as they got more popular, the price went up. So not only could you get really good music at a really reasonable price if you acted quickly enough, but you could also then recommend that music. If music that you recommended went up in price, you were given credit back into your account to spend on more music. Add on top of that the 2-for-1 specials that I always took advantage of, where you could put $50 into your account and receive an extra $50.

I’d love to go ahead and spend my remaining $49 before the site closes down, but unfortunately it appears that I am not the only one with that idea, as I’m currently unable to actually get to any page but the homepage. This really sucks. Goodbye, Amie Street.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Want help finding new music?

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Tuesday September 7, 2010

I find that among my music-loving friends, there exist many types of consumer. Some are overly obsessed music junkies like me; we read music blogs, go to big shows, little shows and everything in between, and buy up albums like they were cups of coffee. Others are more passive listeners, picking up on good music from friends and pop culture, buying occasional albums, and seeing a live show every now and again. And then there are those who love every show I recommend they go to, listen obsessively to the artists I recommend, but don’t otherwise seek music out.

I find the diaspora fascinating, and I’m inspired to write by all variety of music-loving friends. A large part of the impetus for beginning this blog was to find a more regular way to share what I’m listening to, instead of just my year-end favorite music compilations.

I’m not entirely sure I’ve been doing a very good job on that front though, too often indulging in music-fanatic geekouts and fanboy rants. Not that I’m going to cut back on that, because it’s been too much fun, but I do want to try harder to be a filter for those in search of good music.

To wit, I want to point out the charts section of my last.fm profile. These charts make it easy to not only see what albums I’ve been listening to most over the past 7 days, 3 months, 6 months and year, but also to hear samples of the music. You can see what songs I listen to most, who my favorite artists are, and what albums I just can’t stop playing.

I highly recommend clicking around, finding something you haven’t heard, and giving it a listen. I guarantee you’ll come away with at least one new favorite.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

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Get Arcade Fire’s new album for $3.99

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Tuesday August 3, 2010

As of right now, The Suburbs, the new release from Arcade Fire, is on sale at Amazon for $3.99. After seeing a few songs off the album performed live, and being about halfway through the album right now, I can definitely say that you will feel very satisfied with your purchase.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Friday July 23, 2010

That’s the summation of my experience so far with this site.  I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started doing this.  I didn’t really know if I’d like it or be able to keep up with it – I was just trying to find a way to use my addiction to music in a creative way.

Then came the first email from a label rep, asking me if I wanted to interview a band.  So I figured I’d start writing to other bands coming to Burlington, and see if they’d answer some questions too.  Much to my surprise, it worked, and I’ve been able to “interview” some really interesting folks.

I was on a roll so about two months ago, I figured what the hell, why don’t I try and get press credentials to Osheaga.  So I filled out their form and sent in my letter.  Much to my surprise, that also worked.  Today, I received notification that I’ve been granted a photog pass, meaning I’ll be able to bring my SLR camera (and brand new telephoto lens) instead of just my small LX-3 (which is a wonderful camera, particularly in low light, but a festival setting can be a bit more difficult to get to where you need to get to in order to get a good shot).

I can’t wait for Osheaga, and I can’t wait to share my photos and experiences from the festival on here.

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Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.



Earlove!

Filed Under: Live Shows, Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Monday June 28, 2010

earloveI’ve been a pretty off-and-on earplug user for concerts over the years. Generally if I’ve expected a show to be loud (a few recent ones that come to mind are The Hold Steady, Metric and Drink Up Buttercup), I bring earplugs. Though admittedly, even the shows that I don’t consider to be “loud” often leave my ears ringing for a good 24 hours. But the sound quality of the earplugs I’ve been using for years (Mack’s, the kind you can get at any drug store) is horrendous. There is a huge loss at either end of the spectrum, and generally I felt like the earplugs were really taking away from my enjoyment of the music, even if they were prolonging my ability to hear the music at all.

So lately, I’d been on the lookout for a higher quality brand of earplugs. I wasn’t sure where they were sold, or how they’d be different, but I was sure there was something out there that would allow me to protect my hearing without compromising the sound quality at concerts.

Imagine my excitement when I got an Facebook invitation to a group called Earlove from August Forte, a Chicago-based music label rep. who introduced me to JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. Earlove sells “Hi-Fi Earplugs” with about 20 decibels of sound reduction (though the government only allows them to claim 12dB). Unfortunately I couldn’t find them for sale anywhere around here, so I ordered a few pairs online. The actual manufacturer is Etymotic Research, and they are less expensive if purchased directly through them, but with the shipping costs included, I got a better deal by buying a 3-pack from Earlove.

I finally got to test them out last week at the Fiery Furnaces/Vacant Lots show, and I have only wonderful things to report. First and foremost, no ringing ears the next day! The Vacant Lots definitely put the noise reduction capabilities to the test, and Earlove passed with flying colors. What was even more exciting was that there truly was no muffling, no dampening, no bass overload and no muted vocals.

I highly, highly recommend Earlove Hi-Fi Earplugs to anyone looking to protect their hearing without compromising sound quality. My only complaint is that although I ordered 3 pairs with 2 cords, only 1 cord was sent. It turns out that I don’t really need the cord anyhow, as they fit perfectly snugly in my ear and come with their own carrying case, but it’s always frustrating to pay for something (even if it’s only $1) that you don’t receive.


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.

Cars love indie rock (and you should too)

Filed Under: Random Thought
Written by Brendan
Tuesday May 25, 2010

One of the reasons I started this site is to hopefully introduce some folks in the Burlington area to good music that doesn’t come from a jam band, in the hopes of boosting show attendance and encouraging more bands to come through here. I have nothing against jam bands, btw, I just think that people can become blinded by the aura surrounding them, and not realize there is a ton of other good music out there.

It occurred to me last night that car companies might be trying to do the same thing, even if they don’t know it. It seems to be a rapidly increasing trend to use indie rock songs in car commercials, dating back a couple of years to Ford’s use of a Band of Horses track.

Below, I’ve compiled a few of the more notable uses of quality indie rock in car commercials. Find yourself humming these songs? Me too. Maybe you like indie rock after all?

Band of Horses – Funeral (Ford Edge 2008)

Phoenix – 1901 (Cadillac SRX 2009)

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Janglin’ (Ford Fiesta 2011)

Airborne Toxic Event – Wishing Well (Buick Lacrosse 2010)

Band of Skulls – Light of the Morning (Ford Mustang 2011)

Can you think of any others that I’m missing? Leave ‘em in the comments and I’ll add them to the post. And as a side note, I completely support artists selling their tunes to “the man” – it makes the bands money, which means they can make more music, and opens up a completely new audience, meaning more people will (hopefully) buy the music that they are making.

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Late Update: Another example just got sent to me:

Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks (Volkswagen)


Note: All photos are copyright © 2010 Brendan Bush unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy, distribute and transmit them as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with this Creative Commons policy.